home and joined his fortunes with those of his native State.
He was a member of the Confederate Congress at Richmond, during the continuance of that body. In 1865 he was again elected a member of the Legislature and aided in the reconstruction of the State under the plans of President Johnson. In March 1870, he was induced to move to Norfolk, Virginia, where he formed a law partnership with Hon. Asa Biggs, still keeping up his practice in his native district. Two years experience satisfied him that there was no place better for a North Carolinian than North Carolina itself. He returned to spend the remainder of his days within her borders, and settled at Raleigh.
One of the most famous cases in which Mr. Smith was engaged was the defense of Governor Holden in January, 1871, when he was impeached before the Senate. It was no small compliment to his integrity and ability to have been selected as the advocate of one, to whom he had been always opposed, and against whom were employed such counsel as Governors Graham, Bragg and others. His efforts displayed such ability and legal learning as stamped him one of the first advocates of the age. Could Governor Holden have been acquitted, such efforts had done it. He might have said as did Hector:
"Si Pergama dextra deffendi possent,
Etiam hac defensa fuissent."
But it was all in vain. Governor Holden was found guilty and still lies under the ban of this sentence.
On the death of Chief Justice Pearson, Governor Vance in January, 1878, appointed Mr. Smith his successor--and this appointment was ratified by the people of the State at the polls in the following summer.
Chief Justice Smith is now in the maturity of life--his countrymen have great confidence in his integrity and learning; and a brilliant as well as useful career has been his.
He married, in 1839, Mary Olivia, the daughter of William B. Wise, of Murfreesboro.
Tristram Capehart lived at Murfreesboro; he was born in Bertie County, September 16, 1796. He was one of the great and good men of his generation, a philanthropist of the purest nature. Many years prior to the civil war, he emancipated a large number of his slaves, sending them to Liberia, and giving them a large part of his estate to aid them in life.
He was too young to serve in the war of 1812, but without consulting with his parents, he enlisted; his parents sent a substitute for him in the ranks and had him return to his home. He soon effected his escape and again enlisted himself. Another substitute was sent to supply his place, and yet a third, but his liberty-loving heart could not be satisfied with the quiet of home whilst his country was endangered from foreign invasion. A braver soldier never wore the American uniform.
He married Emily, daughter of Daniel Southall of Virginia, a descendant of the Norfleets.
He died March 3, 1859, leaving two sons: Archibald Ashbourne and Thomas.
His only brother, Cullen Capehart, born March 17, 1789, on the shores of the Albemarle Sound in Bertie County, long lived in that section at his grand old home, Avoca, where ancient southern hospitality was extended to the brave and the fair. His maternal ancestors were French Huguenots, the Razeures, the father's descent being from the Ogilvies of Scotland and the German Capeharts. He was possessed of a noble soul, a brilliant intellect, and a princely estate, and with all he was a true patriot, sacrificing much for public good. He married a great belle and beauty, Milly Stanley, a daughter of William Stanley Rhodes, who was descended from the Earls of Derby, the Rhodes and the Averetts. He died at his residence, Avoca, November 22, 1866, leaving three children: Washington Capehart, Mrs. William Anthony Armistead, Mrs. Thomas Goode Tucker of Virginia.
Dr. William Anthony Armistead was a descendant
Index - Contents